ISTANBUL - Turkey's radio and television watchdog has suspended a TV program hosted by a Muslim televangelist that blended theological discussion and dancing, saying it violated gender equality and women's rights.
Adnan Oktar hosts talk show programs on his television channel, A9, where he has discussed Islamic values and sometimes danced with young women he calls "kittens" and sang with young men, his "lions".
The punishment was imposed after Ali Erbas, the head of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, criticized the 62-year-old Oktar's broadcasts last week for mixing religious and profane elements.
Erbas said it was inappropriate to have religious references and belly dancing in the same program, according to Hurriyet newspaper, and the watchdog said it had received 6,000 complaints against Oktar's channel so far this year.
Oktar said he respected the watchdog's decision and is complying with the regulator, but that the criticism of his programs is unjustified.